Social Media Thought Leadership: Who Influences You?

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Lena West devotes one segment of  “Real Women Do Social Media” to the topic of identifying and engaging influencers. It caused me to reflect on who has influenced me these last few years.

I guess you could say Prof. S. was my very first influencer.  She began her social media strategy class with this: “From confusion, dawns wisdom”.  True to her word, the confusion cleared.  There have been many others since.  It is time to give credit where credit is due.

People share their ideas freely and generously on You Tube, Twitter, Facebook, blogs, and the like.  The field changes constantly, everyone is a teacher, all contributing to the conversation. In social media, knowledge is offered daily from people I never get to meet.

This was never so apparent as when I led a recent discussion at 341 Studios. A group of business owners had these questions:

  • “Does everyone need to be in social media?”
  • “How do I get my message to become viral?”
  • “How do I find the time? “
  • “Where do I begin?”

As I shared some foundational concepts, it dawned on me.  I was sharing concepts that I have collected along the way … reciprocity … know/like/trust … engagement.  Seeking out master teachers and engaging with average joes  on social networks taught me what I know.  In turn, I pass along what I have learned.  The best thinking is viral.  But how to give credit where credit is due?

So, for this blogpost, I chose the Zen symbol for gratitude.  As I reverse engineer my social media DNA, the list of credits is long indeed (BTW, my blogroll badly needs updating and only scratches the surface.) Thank you, Chris Brogan, Scott Stratten, Lena West, Jay Baer, Mari Smith, and all the others I cannot name, for your blogs, webinars, newsletters, tweets, books, offers of help …

You don’t always know who will have a profound influence on your thinking, and what chance encounters will shape your destiny.  Like Kierkegaard says, life must be lived forward, but can only be understood backwards. Looking over your business career and the changing landscape of social media, who has influenced you …  and have you given credit where credit is due?


About Rhonda Hurwitz

Rhonda Hurwitz is a content strategist and marketing consultant who helps mid-sized businesses develop more effective online strategies. @rhondahurwitz on Twitter, and on
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3 Responses to Social Media Thought Leadership: Who Influences You?

  1. @gnosisarts says:

    I’m not so influenced by people in social media as much as by technological and trends in the ethos of various social media cmmunities. For example, Twitter. In its short lifespan, it has seen many significant changes in the way people think about social media and in their approaches to using it. There has been the auto DM reply trend; the auto RT trend; the branding application trend; the twitter background design focus trend, and others. Our firm, for instance, has just built a twitter app that serves as an alternative to the traditional SMS shortcode service.

    On Facebook you’ve seen similar trends. These trends reflect thought paradigms in my mind, as users grapple with how to get the most value out of the sites. I try to keep aware of these sorts of shifts in the usability potential of social media, more so than following any particular personalities.

    Eric Bryant, Director
    Gnosis Arts Multimedia

    • Eric, thanks for this comment. It was trapped in my spam filter, so I am just seeing it now.

      You make an important point; trends trump all. I read an interesting tweet today, which might marry the two. Don’t follow the early adopters, follow the the early quitters!

  2. Pingback: Tweets that mention Social Media Thought Leadership: Who Influences You? | she means business --

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